University Business - February 2009 - (Page 18)

VIEWPOINT Investing in Materials Management How the right materials and campus design approaches can promote sustainability By Arthur Spruch and Robert Brandon V IRTUALLY ALL CAMPUSES are striving for sustainability. As client institutions make their intentions clear, engineers and architects are continuously searching for the most appropriate materials and design approaches—HVAC systems that maximize the amount of fresh air in work and living environments, green roofs that reduce heating and cooling costs, and renovations that manage storm water on site, to name a few. Materials management plans help make it all happen. Environmental stewardship is not the sole reason a higher ed institution would implement a materials management plan, but these plans can be a powerful tool in the greening of a campus. ey result in better organized operations and support services and getting the highest and best use out of campus real estate. surrounding neighborhood. e considerable reduction in truck traffic created a safer, more attractive environment. Evaluating solid and hazardous waste removal, storage, and recycling is also worthwhile and can create greater efficiencies and increased recycling rates. MYRIAD BENEFITS Effective materials management plans have many benefits. For starters, consolidating, reconfiguring, and better managing the core infrastructure of a campus reduces redundancy and increases efficiency—resulting in annual operating cost savings. Getting higher and better use of institutional real estate is another benefit. Removing unsafe and unsightly conditions, placing core services out of sight, and creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment can enhance the visual and physical sense of place on campus. is can improve the quality of life for students and serve as a recruitment and retention tool for students and staff. Materials management planning is one of the best investments an IHE can make. In a sense, this is the fundamental reality of effective sustainability: good business practice. By implementing these approaches to design and operations, an institution’s capital and long-term costs can be substantially reduced. Arthur Spruch is director of the Higher Education practice group at S E A Consultants, a Cambridge, Mass.-based design and planning firm serving higher education and other markets. Robert Brandon is the firm’s principal architect and planner. Spruch can be reached at arthur Re-evaluating truck delivery and service vehicle routes helps in developing better campus circulation. tion infrastructure is one key piece. Many campuses suffer from an “island” approach to shipping, receiving, and vehicle movement—each building developing its own system for vendors, logistics, and deliveries. Clustering service points to reduce the number of loading docks and truck parking areas can cut down on idling and increase efficiency. At Harvard, the island approach was rectified during the Northwest Corner project, the most significant new addition to the Law School campus in nearly 125 years. A single loading facility, designed to consolidate service areas and docks from three individual buildings into one, meets shipping and receiving needs. In addition, service vehicle type, size, and schedule were studied for Harvard’s project for better compatibility with the CREATIVE SOLUTIONS As IHEs expand, more campus space is needed for operations and support, such as delivery truck traffic, loading docks, storage facilities, materials distribution, recycling, and waste removal. Often there’s an unintended outcome to a project—a disorderly, noisy, and often inefficient campus. Trucks contend with pedestrians, loading docks are in plain sight, dumpsters are prevalent, and hallways and stairwells are used for storage. But with forethought and creativity, a creative, comprehensive materials management plan can minimize traffic congestion, streamline operational flows, and enhance aesthetics. e development of better circula18 | February 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - February 2009

University Business - February 2009
Editor's Note
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
Behind the News
Sense of Place
Independent Outlook
Wireless Windfall
Share and Share Alike
Achieving the Turnaround
Internet Technology
What's New
End Note

University Business - February 2009